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Why Jeep Doors Come Off and How to Do It

Why Jeep Doors Come Off and How to Do It

Maybe you just bought a new Jeep, or you’ve owned one for a while and never considered taking off the doors. We’ll go over why Jeep doors come off and how to do it. While it can seem a little daunting or difficult, Jeep’s were designed to make the removal of doors relatively easy with only a few necessary tools involved in the whole process. 

As you read on, you’ll learn a little bit about the history of the Jeep’s doors and modern day reasons for why they come off. We’ll also be going through a detailed step-by-step process on how to remove them.

Some video tutorials will be included for those completely unfamiliar with Jeeps. it’s a simple and quick process, even for those of you who have never done it before!

Why Do Jeep Doors Come Off?

Many Jeep owners don’t know how the removable doors came to be and why they stayed. The modern-day Jeep is based on the Willys army vehicle from WWII. The incredibly reliable vehicles were loved by the soldiers who drove them.

During WWII, the soldiers needed an easy and quick way to get in and out of their vehicles, so if you look at the original vehicle designs, they didn’t have doors and came with soft tops.

This style became so popular that when they made civilian Jeeps, the doors were also removable and today they remain a beloved icon, with a massive aftermarket.

Today, Jeep doors come off for a variety of reasons. The biggest one is when people are driving in town or off-roading, it enhances the experience. There really isn’t anything quite like driving a Jeep without the doors and let’s be real, when you’re driving like that, you can’t help but to feel cool.

  • Now, there are some benefits to driving without the doors besides the feel and look.
  • A huge plus is it decreases the overall weight of the vehicle and enhances fuel efficiency.

While they usually don’t have the best gas mileage, especially older models, removing the doors can make up for that, even if it’s a small amount.

  • People that like to do some off-roading or mudding also enjoy the doors being off.
  • For one, it can decrease the amount of time spent cleaning when you can simply hose it out.

Now, some of the nicer models you may not want to do that with, but for ones that you don’t mind getting down and dirty in, it’s a good way to not spend hours on cleaning.

How to Take Off Your Jeep’s Doors

Take a look below to see how to take off your jeep’s doors.

Roll the Windows Down

It doesn’t matter if you have power windows or manual ones, you need to roll the window all the way down to prevent damage to the glass.

As you go through the steps for removing the door, you’ll see that the door can swing and you don’t want to shatter the windows that way. They are sturdy vehicles, but glass is still somewhat fragile so be mindful of the windows.

Storage is also a concern for the windows. If you throw them in a garage with the windows up, you could very well end up with a broken or cracked window.

If you have rear doors, this applies to them as well. Don’t make the mistake that several people have made before and risk ruining your windows.

Disconnect the Power Connecting Pins

You will see a black cable that runs from the door to underneath the dash, near the brake pedal. You’ll see where the connection is and there is a red button type thing, you will slide that red piece downward to unlock it. Then, push a small black tab in order to disconnect the power pin from the vehicle.

  • After it’s disconnected, you’ll simply move the braided cable up and over the hook that’s keeping it in place and it’s done.
  • You can safely tuck this into the net cargo holder at the bottom of the door so it isn’t flailing about and potentially risking damage.

You’ll repeat this on the other side of the Jeep as well. Rear power pins are a little bit different so we’ll cover that in the next step. 

If you are a visual learner, this is a good idea of what to look for. Every Jeep should be basically the same.

Disconnect the Rear Door Power Pins

When you open the back door, you’ll see another braided cable in the same area as it was on the front doors. Follow that cable and you will see a black panel that you can remove with a trim tool or any other flat sturdy object.

You’ll wiggle it into the crack and pop the cover off. Much like the front door, you will push down on the security tab in order to disconnect the power pin from the vehicle.

  • You’ll slide the braided strap over the door stop hook and pull it out.
  • Rear doors should not swing much once the connection is removed, even if it looks like it was holding it in place.
  • The rear doors should have a net at the bottom like the front doors for you to slip the rear power pins into.

If you don’t have rear doors this step is unnecessary.

Remove the Bolts from the Center Door Check

Older models may not have this piece. If that’s the case, keep reading for the door strap removal.

  • For this, you’ll need to locate a plastic piece that connects the door to the body.
  • You’ll use a #40 Torx head driver in order to get the bolt out of the door.
  • Keep in mind, when you do this, the door will now swing since it’s no longer connected and held in place.

This is where the windows being rolled down is important because if the door gets away from you, it can swing and hit the front of the Jeep.

If you need help finding the location of the door connection, this video is incredibly helpful.

If you don’t have the tools necessary and need to buy the Torx bit, make sure to buy a quality one. These bolts are tight and you will need some force. You don’t want to use a cheap one that will break in the middle of trying to unbolt. 

Door Strap Disconnecting

Instead of a bolted-on piece in the center of the door, you’ll have a black nylon cord toward the bottom. Follow it from the door to the inside of the vehicle. It will be attached to a small hook. All you have to do is simply pull it off the hook.

  • Similar to the door check disconnection, this nylon strap is keeping the front door from swinging open and smacking right into the front of the vehicle.
  • When you do this step, hang on to the door.
  • You could even do this step dead last if you think the door is going to slip from your grip.

You may also tuck this piece in with the power pins in the net cargo hold at the bottom of the door. This keeps everything safe, neat, and should prevent any fraying of the nylon.

Remove the Exterior Hinge Bolts

While many people do this as a first step, a lot of Jeep owners find this easy to do as the final bolt removal. If you are more comfortable with doing this as a first step, you absolutely can so no worries. As long as everything is disconnected and unbolted before you try pulling the door off.

You will need to use a #50 Torx for this as well. On the outside of the door, you will see two areas and the bolts are on the underside of each one. This may also require some strength to do, depending on if the doors have been removed before or who put them back in.

The rear doors are exactly the same. The bolts are in the same location, so if you find the front door bolts, you will be able to easily see where the rear ones are at.

  • Now, if you bought a well-worn Jeep, it’s entirely possible there are no door bolts on the exterior.
  • Sometimes people will take them off and misplace them or they never put them back on, even if they put the doors on.
  • You can buy replacement bolts if you want them, but it’s not a big deal if you choose to forgo them.
  • If you don’t have them, you don’t have to worry about this step.

Once you unbolt these, some Jeeps will have a place to store the bolts in the cargo area. If you are like most of us with and bought a used Jeep that has seen a lot of wear and tear, this area may or may not be there. Make sure you find a safe place to store the bolts because you don’t want to have to pay for more when it’s time to put the doors back on.

Lift the Door Off the Hinges

Finally, the easiest step. You’ll grab the door with one hand on the left side, right above the hinges, careful not to accidentally pinch your hand between the door and body. The other hand you’ll put it on the upper side of the window on the right side. This position helps you to wiggle it off and gives you a firm grip.

When you have it in this position, you’ll pull straight up and then out. If it won’t come out with a straight pull, you’ll have to wiggle it back and forth while lifting up to free it from the hinges.

One good tip to remember is the front doors can weigh as much as 70 pounds, so be prepared to lift that much. You may find it easier to have another person assisting with this final step because they are large and it can be difficult to get a good solid grip.

The rear doors are significantly lighter, weighing up to 45 pounds but also still have the odd shape. There is nothing wrong with needing help.

Stuck Hinges

If the hinge absolutely won’t disengage, you can take a block of wood and place it on a jack. Get the wood right under the body of the door and not on the edge of it. Jack it up until the hinges become loose. Sometimes they will fully disengage so keep a good grip on it or use a second person.

This is a video showing you how to do it exactly right so you don’t damage anything.

If the hinge is that finicky, it’s always a good idea to oil it up with a non-petroleum based lubricant, to avoid rusting, and that will make it significantly easier for future removals.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the doors are relatively easy to remove. If you are on the fence about pulling the doors off, I cannot recommend it enough. Driving down the highway without doors and even a roof on a mid-spring day, is an exhilarating way to experience the joys of Jeep ownership.

Some models of Jeep are different in how you’ll go about removing various pieces, nearly everything should be covered, but there have been people who have sold heavily modified Jeeps. If that’s the case and something doesn’t match up, there are Jeep forums, or even take it into a Chrysler dealership and someone there can assist you in the door removal.

Different states have different laws for sideview mirrors, some only requiring a rearview. When you take the doors off, you take the mirrors too. In order to maintain compliance with these laws, you can view your state’s specific requirements here.

If your state requires one or two sideview mirrors, check out the extensive aftermarket mirrors available, no door required! Drive safe and have a blast! 

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